Every town and village throughout Western New York seems to have a business or attraction that many consider to be a “hidden gem.” In the Village of Blasdell, that unique place just waiting to be discovered by a new generation of visitors is Past & Present Science and Nature Store.
Conveniently located at 3767 South Park Ave., between Lake Avenue and Milestrip Road, Past & Present is one of those places that can be defined as truly having “something for everyone.” From interesting and beautiful fossils, rocks, crystals and minerals to handmade jewelry, educational toys and books, and gift items from around the globe, Past & Present is the perfect destination for discovering unique items that can be cherished for many years to come.
And that’s just half of this unique establishment! The back portion of the building houses a free-admission museum featuring interesting specimens from around the world! Among the many items on exhibit are life-size casts of a Tyrannosaurus rex skull and Triceratops skull, a fossil Elephant Bird egg the size of a basketball, actual dinosaur bones, and the largest amber exhibit in Western New York. The gallery also houses a nine-foot tall articulated leg from the dinosaur Edmontosaurus, and two life-size jaw models, one with real teeth, of the ancient predatory shark Carcharodon megalodon.
Other exhibits on display include fossils from New York and Southern Ontario, fossil fish, Pleistocene vertebrates, invertebrates, and much more. A growing mineral collection and meteorite display are newer additions to the gallery.
A family destination, Past & Present also offers in-house and outdoor programming and special events throughout the year.
“We have been buying, selling, and trading quality fossils since 1989,” said store owner Glen LaPlaca, an expert who earned his degree in geoscience and once served as general curator at a public aquarium. “We do everything from desert collecting to river and coastal diving for fossils, and many of those items can now be seen and purchased at Past & Present.”
Regular store and museum hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. For more information, please visit www.pastpres.com. Frequent updates are also available by following Past & Present on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pastpres.